Tom Petty's still got it!

Post by Kerri Brkich in

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers made a recent tour stop in Vancouver

It may be rainy and grey a lot these days, and the long awaited summer might feel elusive at the moment, but that didn’t stop my official summer kick off from happening at Tuesday’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert at GM Place.

Let me take you back to the summer of 1993, when Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits came out. To give you some context I was somewhere between the ages of ten or twenty… I was already a fan, but this compilation sealed it and that CD was the background music for every party we went to that year. Just hearing the opening strains of American Girl (which unfortunately they didn’t play on Tuesday) or Free Fallin' (which they did!) immediately makes me feel like I should be grabbing a beer from the cooler and singing at the top of my lungs.

And there was a lot of that on Tuesday, Petty brought the house down. There’s something about his music that’s fresh and nostalgic at the same time, and the crowd that came out to see him spanned the generations. My friend and I got a kick out of the young guys sitting a couple of rows ahead of us who belted out the lyrics to songs that were released before they were even born.

tom_petty_tour Tom Petty is a musician first and foremost, and the Heartbreakers are one of the best bands I’ve seen live. It was clear that they not only loved playing the oldies and fan favourites, but the new album, Mojo, which will be released June 15, is one to watch for. The bluesy straight ahead rock is perfect patio music, and destined to be a new summer classic. But while the new music is great, it’s the hits that induce an entire stadium to gleefully jump to their feet and sing with abandon. Standouts for me were Free Fallin', Refugee, and Roll Another Joint.

Hit after hit, the music catalogue at his disposal is formidable, and a very clear reminder that Petty has been around for a long time. The stage show was basic and perfect for the group. There were no explosions and no fireworks, just hard hitting music and a few lasers for good measure. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were in peak form and hit every note, and it was clear they loved the crowd reception in Vancouver.

Overall it was an amazing time, and I still haven’t wiped the grin off my face. There’s nothing better than live music done right, or a great musician hitting their stride—Tuesday night I saw both and I’ve renewed my love affair with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Tuesday’s concert also got me thinking about my plans for the summer ahead. Rain be damned, summer is coming and I can’t wait to get out and about in our beautiful city. I’ve already got several trips back to the Okanagan planned, but will also have plenty of time here in the city. If you have an event that you’d like us to promote, or review, drop me a line at I’m always on the lookout for cool things to do, and different places to see.

What are some of your song favourites that remind you of beaches and barbeques? The sun is supposed to peek out this weekend—so get yourself to a patio stat and let’s get this summer started!


One other event of note for readers. The Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival (VISAFF) is happening at the VanCity Theatre on Saturday, June 26th.

VISAFF is Vancouver's premier International South Asian Film Festival. It's purpose and vision is to "bridge the gap" between South Asian talent and mainstream audiences. VISAFF will be instrumental in breaking the South Asian stereotype, and expanding North American views on the artists within the culture. The festival will serve as a launching pad for integration through celebration and education. It is a one day festival that will incorporate films (features, shorts, documentaries), a panel discussion by some of the most prestigious South Asian filmmakers and actors, an opening reception and a closing gala.

See their website at for program and ticket information.

- post by Kerri

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